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IX SEAECH  OF AN ARTIST                              119
bring some sorb of order into the apparent chaos of the universe,
to make a pattern out of the stars that seem to have been scattered
so carelessly on the floor of heaven,5 and after suggesting that art
was a more direct method of creating this 'order' than either
science or religion, because it was sufficient unto itself, and neither
offered nor demanded any explanations... I chose the obvious
example of Rembrandt as an artist whose gsnius was so powerful
That it lit up the most drab and homely objects with a glow of
beauty and moulded them into forms of permanent significance.
(The reader is asked to pardon this chicken-food ; he must remem-
ber that I was speaking in Bombay, where art, to the uppsr classes,
means ordering the Mona Lisa on your Christmas cards instead
of the customary robin in the snow).
In particular Rembrandt's butcher's shop seemed worth draw-
ing to their attention, if only because a butcher's shop, to a Hindu
artist, is an indecent and sacrilegious object. I said :
"Take a crude piece of life like a butcher's shop in some poor
port of the city, with its hunks of meat, its patches of blood, and
the flies buzzing round it. The scientist, passing that shop, thinks
only how unhygienic it i>, and how foolish men are to waste their
money on a diet so deficient in vitamins. The priest, passing that
shop, is reminded only of the cruelty of the slaughter, and the
passion of men's appetites. But when. Rembrandt passed a shop
like that, 300 years ago, he paused, and his eyes lit up, and he
rejoiced, for he saw something quite different. He saw a pattern
of life, and it was a beautiful pattern, rich in colour and subtle in
design. And he sat down and painted it so that we, to-day, carx
look through his eyes on to that butcher's shop, and feel, ia doiag
so, that we are looking through one of the many windows by
which^rnen catch a glimpse of heaven/
This, I suggested, summed up in a simple example, was wh$t
was wrong with modern Indian art—the artists were not looking
at the butcher's shop (it is an interesting sidelight on the standards
of Indian art criticism that several newspapers promptly construed
this as an attack upon vegetarianism !}.
My final plea, which is really the only excuse for reprinting
these extracts, was as follows :
c It is up to the young artists to dip their brushes into the gigantic